The Hook and Cod Wars is the fifth scenario of the The Grand Dukes of the West campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Lords of the West.

Intro[edit | edit source]

This is where we will stand tomorrow, my son, when Joan of Arc burns. Already they are dowsing the pyre with oil. This is to be no ordinary fire, you see; the flames must rise high for La Pucelle, as if they truly were the flames of Hell.

For a long time she was a nuisance to Duke Philip. He never could understand her zealous wrath, her single-mindedness...and how she seemed to truly believe the words of fire that she spoke. Compared to him, the ruthless politician, she was another being entirely.

But at this point, La Pucelle was not no Philip's mind. For even as Joan dealt defeats to the Burgundian forces in France, Philip had yet to deal with the escaped Jacqueline.

In Holland, Jacqueline had found new supporters in the so-called 'Hooks', noblemen of low birth. For years, they had been fighting a civil war with the merchant class, known as the 'Cods'.

Philip now had to walk into this mire of old grudges and blood feuds to finally defeat the elusive Jacqueline.

Scenario instructions[edit | edit source]

Starting conditions[edit | edit source]

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Force Jacqueline to surrender by destroying her Castles in Leiden, Utrecht and Rotterdam.
  • Your Town Center in Brouwershaven must not be destroyed.

Secondary objectives:

  • Drive the Hooks out of the Dutch villages so that your allies, the Cods, can take over.
  • Destroy the Hooks' towers so that the Dutch fishermen can go to sea again.
  • Destroy the 3 enemy Lumberyards (Trade Workshops) on the English coast so that the English are forced to withdraw.

Hints[edit | edit source]

  1. Philip the Good's forces can support a population of 200.
  2. Humphrey is impeded by political obligations but still manages to send English soldiers and resources to his wife, Jacqueline. Additionally, he is directing an English navy to Zeeland to invade the Burgundian lands. Build a fleet in order to repel the English invaders.
  3. The sea offers plenty of food. Building Fishing Ships is strongly advised.
  4. The Hooks, an association of lower nobles, are supporting Jacqueline, while the local burghers, the Cods, sympathize with the Burgundians. To gain a reliable ally, help the Cods rise to be Holland's strongest power.

Scouts[edit | edit source]

Your scouts report:

  • Philip the Good (1, Purple) has established a base in Brouwershaven, an affluent coastal town, to fight Jacqueline and her English allies.
  • A conflict festering in Holland between a noble alliance, called the Hooks (4, Yellow), and the regions self-confident burghers, The Cods (5, Blue). The Hooks support Jacqueline's cause, while the Cods have forged an alliance with the Burgundians.
  • Jacqueline (2, Green) has taken control of Utrecht, Leiden and Rotterdam. She will mainly train heavy cavalry, construct Trebuchets, and also build a war fleet. Should Jacqueline be under siege, she will deploy additional infantry to defend her cities.
  • The English (3, Red) have a powerful army consisting mainly of Longbowmen and a large number of warships. It is unlikely that the Burgundians will have the opportunity to defeat the English completely, but it may be possible to significantly weaken them.

Players[edit | edit source]

Allies[edit | edit source]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Enemy → potential Ally[edit | edit source]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

The first thing the player should focus on is to destroy the three English Lumberyards, as that will make the English cease their attacks and change their diplomatic stance to ally (if going for the "A Second Hastings" achievement, the player can betray the English later in the game when things are calmer). Since the English attack very early, the player should immediately research the Galleon upgrade and then Bracer and Chemistry when affordable. After repelling the first English attack, the player should use their Galleons to destroy the English Lumberyards. The first Lumberyard to be destroyed should be the one to the north, as it requires the player to pass through two Guard Towers, that will be upgraded to Keeps if the player takes too long (not to mention that the English will also research Bracer, Chemistry and Arrowslits, and all that combined will make the player's ships easily sinkable). Then the player should destroy the other two Lumberyards, while being cautious about English naval attacks.

The Hook's towers can be easily destroyed by the player's Galleons, as they are outranged by them. After they are destroyed, the Dutch Villages will occasionally tribute the player the food they get from fishing.

There is an unprotected Relic to the south, and it is advisable to gather it as soon as possible. There is another Relic to the east, but the player will have to free two of the seven Dutch Villages to get there.

With the English threat cleared, the player's next focus should be on destroying Jacqueline's northern Castle, as that will give the player total control of the ocean. For this, the player should focus on gathering as much wood and gold as possible to build a strong navy, both to protect the player's starting Town Center and Docks from Jacqueline's navy and to block the shallows from Jacqueline's land units (AI land units do not attack ships). When the player's navy is strong enough, they should take the offensive and destroy Jacqueline's northern Castle with Elite Cannon Galleons.

Once any of Jacqueline's Castles is destroyed, the player takes control of the corresponding city, and so the city may get under attack from Jacqueline's units, which also provides a useful distraction. Now the player has total control of the ocean, and if they want, they can even send Villagers to England to gather resources there, as the English are now allies. With the two hardest threats of the scenario dealt with, all that is left is to destroy the remaining two Castles.

To drive the Hooks out of the Dutch Villages, a small army of Hand Cannoneers should be enough, as the Hooks mostly train infantry. To destroy the remaining two Castles, a big army of Paladins and/or Elite Coustilliers and some Trebuchets are all that is necessary, as both Castles can be destroyed from outside their respective cities and the player can easily protect the Trebuchets with their own cavalry units.

The achievement "A Second Hastings" can be obtained by wiping out Humphrey's base before defeating Jacqueline. The best time to do this is after the first of Jacqueline's Castles is destroyed. The player can safely land a big army of Paladins in England and send them right below the English Town Centers. Change the diplomatic stance to "neutral" or "enemy" (the English will react by becoming enemies again) and destroy the Town Centers. Proceed with killing the English Villagers to prevent them from rebuilding anything and then focus on destroying as many production buildings as possible. Gather some ships to sink any remaining English ships and destroy their Docks so that it is safe to land in England again and send some Trebuchets to destroy the English Castles. This may be a bit tedious since the English take a long time to resign.

Note: the achievement will only unlock when the player finishes the scenario.

Outro[edit | edit source]

In the end, it was the Pope that dealt the final blow to Jacqueline's dreams of power. As he dissolved her marriage to the Lord Protector of England, she was left without allies, and soon she was once again captured by Philip's forces.

Philip gave her a peace treaty more amicable than she could have hoped for. She was allowed to keep her titles, but Philip assumed regency over all of her lands. Once the wife of the Dauphin of France, Jacqueline was reduced to a position of hollow prestige.

For the first time, the Low Countries were unified under Burgundian rule; a strange situation, for a land so long defined by quarreling cities...but in the end, a change for the better.

You see, my son, a land unified is a stronger land. When its cities no longer fight each other, their people can focus on the arts, on industry, beautiful architecture, and innovation...

All of the things that we call civilization; all of the things that must be cast aside when one is called upon to pick up the sword...

As for Philip...with his northern realms secured, he could finally turn his attention to France, and to Joan of Arc; the Maid of Orléans.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • When the last of Jacqueline's Castles is destroyed, Jacqueline says "Oh, I am deserted by everyone that I trusted! As I have found out, my useless husband spends time with other ladies instead of coming to my aid. No wonder you were victorious, Philip.". This can be seen as a reference to the AI's resignation messages on skirmish matches, in which the AI makes up a random excuse for their defeat and ends with "No wonder thou wert victorious! I shalt abdicate.".
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